I feel like the last Charlottean online to know about this, but what's the deal with this Facebook page for William "Chilly Willy" Major, the panhandler known to frequent areas around East Boulevard and Central Avenue?
I guess I shouldn't be surprised that, in the age of social media, somebody decided it'd be cool to make up a Facebook page for a well-known panhandler. But I think I'm entitled to go "what the?!" when the page garners more than 5,000 fans!
Looking at the stuff on there, I found myself laughing out loud at one point, only to quickly add, "This is so wrong!" People comment on their encounters with Major, an alcoholic.
Wrote one guy: "Just saw Chilly @ gas station on Central Ave. He was singing " I'm Chilly Willy, I'm Chilly Willy" while in the bathroom!!!!! Funny S**t!!!"
There's YouTube videos on the site of Major, with titles such as "Best Bum Ever" and "Greatest Drinker of All Time."
Opined one commenter: "His drinking ability is super cool."
Wrote another: "I think that there is a small part in all of us that would like to be like Willy (go where you want, do what you want, say what you want), and at the same time is scared to death of ending up like him. He is our collective avatar."
Cheryl Clawson Frasier, who identified herself as a therapist, didn't find the page amusing: "This man has severe mental issues...I am horrified of those of you who record him and laugh," she wrote.
The whole thing leaves me with a ton of questions: Who created the page? Were they making fun of him, or making a tribute to him? Did Major give permission? Would it make any difference if he didn't?
If anybody knows what the deal is with this page, clue the late guy in here. Just curious.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Posted by Eric Frazier at 9:11 AM